Tag Archives: Redding at odds with fire department over CalPERS contributions

Redding’s having a conversation we need to have in Chico – showing the process by which they raise the salaries to cover the employees’ benefits contributions, which raises the cost of the benefits, and so-on, right down the financial toilet

23 Apr

City of Chico recently very quietly raised management salaries, gave cops and fire a raise, without any public comment. But Redding is having a very loud conversation with their fire department. I posted the entire story from KRCR news because these stories aren’t available for long. I want people to see how the contract process works. The pension system is tanking again, and CalPERS is demanding higher contributions from local agencies, so the city and the employees go to the table for a sort of “Repo Man Grab” – the employees want more money to pay higher shares, but of course, their demands for higher salary exacerbate the debt. What idiot can’t see that?

And here’s a note – Redding employees are paying much higher shares than Chico employees, who pay between 9 and 15% of the city’s contribution, which is less than half the total cost. More about that later.


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REDDING, Calif. — The City of Redding and the Redding firefighters union have been in contract negotiations since March of last year. The city said it’s made multiple offers that the union rejected.

KRCR’s Tyler Van Dyke asked the President of the Redding Professional Firefighters Michael Ham on Tuesday why they haven’t accepted.

“The most recent offer was voted on by membership and voted down almost unanimously—99% of my membership said no. It was extremely regressive, there was just no part of it that we could say yes to,” Ham said.

Ham explained that the 26% pay increase isn’t really 26%. “This 26% is just not there when they are asking for or demanding major concessions of our benefits that really eats away at that 26%,” he said.

Meanwhile, City Manager Barry Tippin said that those insurance benefits will not be affected, “there’s nothing changing in their insurance; it had no effect on whether they would be covered differently,” Tippin said. “Currently, they pay 10% of their monthly premium; every other employee in the City of Redding pays 20% of the monthly premium. We’ve asked them to pay the same amount as the 750 other city employees.”

Here is a breakdown of the current salaries for Redding firefighters.

KRCR asked the union what an acceptable increase for them would look like.

“We were working in good faith with the city to try to come to an agreement and work through some of the things they wanted in addition to that 26% salary increase we felt we were on the backend of almost figuring those items out and then like I said they just didn’t want to come back to the table,” Ham said. “Now to say what would a fair offer look like I don’t know because what they slid across the table just recently in their last best final offer is not a fair offer.”

Mayor Michael Dacquisto said in a press release on Monday that the council has worked hard to balance the budget and develop a proposal that provides a competitive salary and benefits compared to similar cities.

Well according to the comparable city survey put together by the city and RFD.

Redding is number nine out of ten on that list of cities including Chico, Davis, Roseville, Vacaville, and Fairfield to name a few.

“Which is almost at the very bottom and this most recent offer that the city gave us doesn’t bring us up very far back when we were talking last year in November we were creeping up there a little bit more but we still had a lot of work to do to get us where we needed or where we felt we needed to be,” Ham said.

Redding approved management increases last year – read about that here:



Here’s what Dan Walters had to say in 2020

California’s public employee pension dilemma boils down to this: The California Public Employees Retirement System has scarcely two-thirds of the money it needs to pay benefits that state and local governments have promised their workers.

Moreover, CalPERS’ official estimate that it is 70.8% funded is based on an assumption of future investment earnings averaging 7% a year, which probably is at least one or two percentage points too high. In the 2019-20 fiscal year that ended June 30, CalPERS posted a 4.7% return and over the last 20 years it has averaged 5.5% by its own calculation.

Here’s the status as of last year

After this year’s financial losses, CalPERS reported that its funded ratio plummeted from 81% in 2021 to 72% as of June 30, 2022, which means the pension system now has just 72 cents of each dollar needed to provide the pension benefits that have already been promised to current workers and retirees.Nov 25, 2022

I’ve just posted the above information to show that CalPER’s demands are ramping up, they are demanding higher payments from government agencies all over California. Right now, looking at Chico’s budget, I see the biggest fund balances are in the pension savings accounts, while other fund balances are actually being reported in the negative. There’s less than a million dollars in the parks fund, for example.

More next time.